Never had a parrot before, which type should I get?

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Truepacifist

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I just re-read your message and since you don't want to cuddle with your bird a Budgie would be great. A cockatoo would be an absolute nightmare! Conures don't demand cuddling either and will give you the Big Bird experience for a reasonable price.
I think either a budgie or a cockatiel would be good for me then. Leaning more towards a budgie because of the talking. I guess I didn't know they were so smart because they're so common and I'm surprised you say they live so long because I've had friends with budgies and they only live 3 or 4 years max and don't really do much. They chattered but I didn't really hear them saying words either but maybe they weren't taught. If budgies can live as long as a dog or cat they sound good as my rabbits passing will be heartbreaking for me, they are 12 this year and I wish I had 40 years with them like large parrot owners.
 

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Budgies, cockatiels, cockatoos and African grey parrots are *very* dusty birds. It’s bad enough that it can negatively affect the health of other birds (see macaw respiratory hypersensitivity). Their dander is part of how they care for their feathers I think, and they produce a ton. If you have allergy problems that rules out several species for you.

Even parrots outside of those that are serious dander producers still produce dust. You’ll want to invest in a good air filter, which will set you back a hundred bucks. A decent sized flight cage for a small parrot (conure sized) is about $200 online or closer to $400 in a store. A cage for a larger bird will run you about $600.

You’ll also want to have them seen by a vet to establish that they’re healthy. It’s about $300 for blood work, fecal, and an exam.

Right out of the gate for a medium sized parrot you are going to spend a thousand bucks, which only leaves you with $500 for a bird - not really enough for anything larger than a conure. I’d say stick to smaller species, but I also strongly advise you find a way to meet some birds before you get one as a pet. I have also had a house rabbit and rabbits are mammals; they are definitely unique but nothing like birds. It really, really also helps if the bird “chooses” you, but if that’s not an option, going through a reputable store or breeder where you can meet your bird and interact with them while it’s weaning can work too.

I’m a little confused because initially you expressed interest in training, but now you’re concerned about wanting to leave them alone - but it’s great that you’re thinking about that now! The reality is training sessions can be short - 15 minutes or less - the key is routine. Wrench and Salty have set a great example on how effective having a good training routine is! However, even outside of training time, birds are flock animals. Some birds don’t mind just being in the room and will let you know when they want attention (Kirby is like this). It depends on the individual bird, although certain species do tend to behave in a specific way, there’s no guarantee your bird wont be a cuddle bug.
 
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Truepacifist

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Budgies, cockatiels, cockatoos and African grey parrots are *very* dusty birds. It’s bad enough that it can negatively affect the health of other birds (see macaw respiratory hypersensitivity). Their dander is part of how they care for their feathers I think, and they produce a ton. If you have allergy problems that rules out several species for you.

Even parrots outside of those that are serious dander producers still produce dust. You’ll want to invest in a good air filter, which will set you back a hundred bucks. A decent sized flight cage for a small parrot (conure sized) is about $200 online or closer to $400 in a store. A cage for a larger bird will run you about $600.

You’ll also want to have them seen by a vet to establish that they’re healthy. It’s about $300 for blood work, fecal, and an exam.

Right out of the gate for a medium sized parrot you are going to spend a thousand bucks, which only leaves you with $500 for a bird - not really enough for anything larger than a conure. I’d say stick to smaller species, but I also strongly advise you find a way to meet some birds before you get one as a pet. I have also had a house rabbit and rabbits are mammals; they are definitely unique but nothing like birds. It really, really also helps if the bird “chooses” you, but if that’s not an option, going through a reputable store or breeder where you can meet your bird and interact with them while it’s weaning can work too.

I’m a little confused because initially you expressed interest in training, but now you’re concerned about wanting to leave them alone - but it’s great that you’re thinking about that now! The reality is training sessions can be short - 15 minutes or less - the key is routine. Wrench and Salty have set a great example on how effective having a good training routine is! However, even outside of training time, birds are flock animals. Some birds don’t mind just being in the room and will let you know when they want attention (Kirby is like this). It depends on the individual bird, although certain species do tend to behave in a specific way, there’s no guarantee your bird wont be a cuddle bug.
I HAVE more than 1500 which I could possibly spend on the bird but was thinking that would be enough. For the perfect bird I'd be happy to spend more like 3000 if they chose me specifically.

That sucks about the dust because I was just thinking a budgie might be perfect but I have asthma :(

I'm happy to do training for like an hour but I don't want to have to have the bird physically on me for the whole time they're out of their cage if that makes sense. I have sensory issues and being touched for prolonged periods even by a bird perching on me would probably drive me nuts
 

ravvlet

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I think either a budgie or a cockatiel would be good for me then. Leaning more towards a budgie because of the talking. I guess I didn't know they were so smart because they're so common and I'm surprised you say they live so long because I've had friends with budgies and they only live 3 or 4 years max and don't really do much. They chattered but I didn't really hear them saying words either but maybe they weren't taught. If budgies can live as long as a dog or cat they sound good as my rabbits passing will be heartbreaking for me, they are 12 this year and I wish I had 40 years with them like large parrot owners.
Budgies can live as long as a rabbit, the problem is that in captivity they’re often irresponsibly bred and not well kept. They are very prone to fatty liver, and big box pet store parakeets often carry nasty zootonic diseases like psittacosis due to unsanitary conditions or because the breeder was not a responsible one.

Not all budgies will learn to talk - if a bird not talking and not doing tricks is a deal breaker, a bird may not be for you. I have an Amazon who is a lovely talker - if you like hearing her previous owner’s dog’s name yelled so loudly you can hear it down the street. ;)

I think what I’m trying to say is - the correct way to approach bird ownership is to acknowledge that they are not domesticated; they’re still wild animals, and they have very specific needs that are sometimes difficult to meet in captivity. Ask yourself, “what can I do for my bird?”, not, “what can my bird do for me?”

I’m sorry to hear about your sensory issues! Again, it comes down to the individual bird, but they are flock animals and will want to be near you. I can’t promise any particular species won’t want to sit with you from time to time, and the little guys are excellent fliers so it’s hard to keep them off, heh.
 

ravvlet

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Also sorry if that sounded overly discouraging! As a rabbit owner, I assume you have an exotic vet nearby (some exotic vets who see rabbits will also see birds). Does your vet’s practice have avian patients? They might be a great place to start looking for some bird experience, especially if you already have a rapport with them.

Rabbits, like parrots, require fresh greens and can be real particular about care, so it’s great that you have that experience.
 
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Budgies can live as long as a rabbit, the problem is that in captivity they’re often irresponsibly bred and not well kept. They are very prone to fatty liver, and big box pet store parakeets often carry nasty zootonic diseases like psittacosis due to unsanitary conditions or because the breeder was not a responsible one.

Not all budgies will learn to talk - if a bird not talking and not doing tricks is a deal breaker, a bird may not be for you. I have an Amazon who is a lovely talker - if you like hearing her previous owner’s dog’s name yelled so loudly you can hear it down the street. ;)

I think what I’m trying to say is - the correct way to approach bird ownership is to acknowledge that they are not domesticated; they’re still wild animals, and they have very specific needs that are sometimes difficult to meet in captivity. Ask yourself, “what can I do for my bird?”, not, “what can my bird do for me?”

I’m sorry to hear about your sensory issues! Again, it comes down to the individual bird, but they are flock animals and will want to be near you. I can’t promise any particular species won’t want to sit with you from time to time, and the little guys are excellent fliers so it’s hard to keep them off, heh.
Ok I will make sure I do a lot more research before getting any parrot. I thought parrots were semi domesticated like hamsters for example but they seem quite different. One lady told me most small parrots wouldn't survive in the wild anymore when I worked at a pets supply shop. They didn't sell animals but had bird stuff. I've always liked birds and might end up going down the route of getting a dove as they are very soothing to me and I love their cooing. My grandma had a dove before she passed and he was the sweetest thing. He died a few weeks after her and we think it was heart break.
 

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How do you feel about reptiles? Very much an animal that prefers to be left alone but are willing to be handled when you want to handle them.
I have a bearded dragon who will sit on your lap calmly or happily go back in his tank.

I know to every one likes snakes, BUT ball pythons are some of the best 'cuddlers' lol.
 
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Also sorry if that sounded overly discouraging! As a rabbit owner, I assume you have an exotic vet nearby (some exotic vets who see rabbits will also see birds). Does your vet’s practice have avian patients? They might be a great place to start looking for some bird experience, especially if you already have a rapport with them.

Rabbits, like parrots, require fresh greens and can be real particular about care, so it’s great that you have that experience.
My vet who I see specifically doesn't see birds unfortunately. Rabbits are as uncommon as he goes. My rabbits are very high maintenance so I thought I'd be prepared for parrot ownership but it does seem on another level a bit. They have fresh foods every day and a variety and I grow dandelions in my garden for them.
 
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How do you feel about reptiles? Very much an animal that prefers to be left alone but are willing to be handled when you want to handle them.
I have a bearded dragon who will sit on your lap calmly or happily go back in his tank.

I know to every one likes snakes, BUT ball pythons are some of the best 'cuddlers' lol.
I have a bit of a phobia of snakes and reptiles honestly but otherwise it would have been a good idea
 

ravvlet

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Ok I will make sure I do a lot more research before getting any parrot. I thought parrots were semi domesticated like hamsters for example but they seem quite different. One lady told me most small parrots wouldn't survive in the wild anymore when I worked at a pets supply shop. They didn't sell animals but had bird stuff. I've always liked birds and might end up going down the route of getting a dove as they are very soothing to me and I love their cooing. My grandma had a dove before she passed and he was the sweetest thing. He died a few weeks after her and we think it was heart break.

Doves are so lovely!

Ah yeah; I forgot about the noise factor. Parrots won’t wake you up at night - they are diurnal - but they can be quite noisy. I’m not sure how much that bothers you but it’s worth considering. I can’t handle the pitch certain species can hit, for example. Our female amazon can sound like Fran Dresher and it drives me batty, lol.

Don’t give up necessarily! Check and see with the breeders or parrot stores in your area that you were considering acquiring a bird from if you can meet their birds. Some breeders let you visit your bird while it’s being weaned anyway so it won’t hurt to ask. Also, walking into a parrot store full of excited birds is a good test for the noise and mess factor. Plus, some stores do help people rehome birds - maybe a more established and older bird who’s behaviors are known might be a good fit.

Rabbits are messy as all get out too - we could not keep ours because, although pet dander is fine for me, I am very allergic to hay! Even orchard grass gave me rashes all over my hands.
 
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Doves are so lovely!

Ah yeah; I forgot about the noise factor. Parrots won’t wake you up at night - they are diurnal - but they can be quite noisy. I’m not sure how much that bothers you but it’s worth considering. I can’t handle the pitch certain species can hit, for example. Our female amazon can sound like Fran Dresher and it drives me batty, lol.

Don’t give up necessarily! Check and see with the breeders or parrot stores in your area that you were considering acquiring a bird from if you can meet their birds. Some breeders let you visit your bird while it’s being weaned anyway so it won’t hurt to ask. Also, walking into a parrot store full of excited birds is a good test for the noise and mess factor. Plus, some stores do help people rehome birds - maybe a more established and older bird who’s behaviors are known might be a good fit.

Rabbits are messy as all get out too - we could not keep ours because, although pet dander is fine for me, I am very allergic to hay! Even orchard grass gave me rashes all over my hands.
An older bird who needs a home would be perfect I think, not a baby. I will definitely see if thats available anywhere. I don't mind if they aren't super bonded with me and it would be nice to give an elderly bird a home.
 

ravvlet

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Take your time, and be open to unexpected possibilities. I’d never have thought an Amazon was a good fit for me, and now we have two. It sounds like you’ve done a great job by your bunnies! I’d definitely say touching base with an avian vet might make finding a bird looking for a home easier too, and you’d get to already have an established relationship with a vet.
 
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I am getting depressed looking at ads for rehomed birds tonight and will try to simply call the pet shop I was considering in the morning. There are very many young birds being rehomed because the owner does not have the time, but if they are only 7 months old surely they knew they did not have the time? Many look very sad in the photos but maybe I am projecting. I saw a few which were in very small cages to my eye but I'm not sure how much room smaller species like cockatiels or parakeets need
 

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Hi thanks for the response

The reason I want a parrot is because I want a pet which isn't all over you like a dog and is more introverted but is also more easily trained than a cat. Also I'm slightly allergic to cat and dog dander and I heard birds can be good for people who have pet allergies.
Have you considered Guinea pigs? Similar to rabbits so you have the experience. They like to be pet but aren’t really cuddly. I even know someone who has taught hers a few tricks. There are also other pocket pets like mice and rats that can learn many tricks. Oh also conures most certainly demand attention. A pair of budgies might work but the thing with birds many people forget is they live a long time and there are many many variables that could prevent it from being the ”right” bird for you. Additionally rehoming can be detrimental to them if it doesn’t work out.
 

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Hi I'm new to the forum and have joined to decide which parrot to get. I have a budget of $1500 for initial expenses (the parrot plus cage) and 2 bunny rabbits, who are very senior, Alice and Peter. I live alone but don't own my house.

I was thinking of a smaller species but I heard budgies, lovebirds and cockatiels aren't very smart and can't learn many tricks. So I was thinking of a grey, an Indian ringneck or an eclectus.
HOW DARE YOU SAY COCKATIELS ARENT SMART 😭 😭 😭
Dont take this seriously, but they are very smart and can learn many things. Indian ringnecks are a good option as they arent to big and not too expensive either.
 

slushii

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I am getting depressed looking at ads for rehomed birds tonight and will try to simply call the pet shop I was considering in the morning. There are very many young birds being rehomed because the owner does not have the time, but if they are only 7 months old surely they knew they did not have the time? Many look very sad in the photos but maybe I am projecting. I saw a few which were in very small cages to my eye but I'm not sure how much room smaller species like cockatiels or parakeets need
I know it can be sad and your instinct may be to reach out to those bird owners and offer them a home, but after reading this thread I do feel the need to reiterate the importance of bird ownership.

Parrots are not “pets” they are companions, and they do require a lot of attention, and lots also require affection. Adopting a parrot will most likely result in them bonding to you depending on the bird you acquire and how you handle the relationship.

I have NEVER owned a bird that did not want to be handled, touched, cuddled or trained. I have owned budgies, cockatiels and my most recent bird is a conure. All three parrots are lovely and each have had their own quirks and personalities that made them fun to include in my life and I wouldn’t have changed that for the world. From what you are saying, it seems like the ideal pet for you would be a reptile… Like zERo said, you can handle them on your own account, and they make for interesting little creatures. A rat might be cool, too. They are incredibly intelligent and can learn tricks, and they form great bonds with their owners without the need to be handled all the time. The only downside is their lifespan is not the longest, but if you want a pet now, it might be something worth looking into.

I would recommend doing a little bit more research on the care that a parrot needs, and how affectionate they can be towards their person of choice. If you do in the end decide a parrot is the way to go, I would suggest a budgie like the others here!
 

DonnaBudgie

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I am getting depressed looking at ads for rehomed birds tonight and will try to simply call the pet shop I was considering in the morning. There are very many young birds being rehomed because the owner does not have the time, but if they are only 7 months old surely they knew they did not have the time? Many look very sad in the photos but maybe I am projecting. I saw a few which were in very small cages to my eye but I'm not sure how much room smaller species like cockatiels or parakeets need
If you have several hours, 3 min preferably 6, to spend paying attention to a bird and you would like a bird with that has talking potential a single male Budgie would be a good choice. I've had quite a few very charming Budgies, one at a time who learned to "talk". The key was to get one about eight weeks old that the breeder says is likely to be a male. Its hard to tell that young unless you're very experienced but a good breeder should be able to. I say eight weeks because at that age they are weaned but still "babies" and much easier to tame than older birds. I say male because males really are more likely to talk and seldom bite. Females can be equally charming but are less likely to talk and more likely to bite hard. If you must get a young "pet store" bird, I learned a trick for picking a male. I would look at a cage full of budgies for sale and first look atntheir foreheads. If they have blackish bars right above their nostrildlook at their ceres, the fleshy area over the beak with nostrils. Look for birds with purplish pink ceres, not bluish white ceres.m
I HAVE more than 1500 which I could possibly spend on the bird but was thinking that would be enough. For the perfect bird I'd be happy to spend more like 3000 if they chose me specifically.

That sucks about the dust because I was just thinking a budgie might be perfect but I have asthma :(

I'm happy to do training for like an hour but I don't want to have to have the bird physically on me for the whole time they're out of their cage if that makes sense. I have sensory issues and being touched for prolonged periods even by a bird perching on me would probably drive me nuts
My budgie Rocky is very bonded to me. He wants to eat whatever I'm eating, preferably off my plate, and if he had his way he would live "on me" sitting on my head or shoulders and climbing all over me so maybe a tame bird just wouldn't be right for you. You like bunnies- why not get a Giant Flemish Rabbit? Now THAT'S a lot of bunny to love!
 
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Hi guys so I drove up to the pet store today and it was quite busy despite going in the morning and they had some conures budgies cockatiels 2 macaws, an amazon and a grey. They also had canaries.
 
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"2 budgies birds for sale selling due to lack of storage free collection if you are a local we might be able to deliver want gone asap"

:(
 
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HOW DARE YOU SAY COCKATIELS ARENT SMART 😭 😭 😭
Dont take this seriously, but they are very smart and can learn many things. Indian ringnecks are a good option as they arent to big and not too expensive either.
I've been watching videos of cockatiels and you're completely right! They seem to switch seamlessly between tricks. Like step up, high five and spin around one after another. A lot of dogs really struggle to understand you're changing the trick
 

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